LAPT8 Panama: Final table set, Iermolcheva dethrones Kazemipur
For most of the tournament, Shakeeb Kazemipur seemed to be unstoppable.
His dominance was unchallenged until Olga Iermolcheva moved to his table and took over the lead. Ermolcheva kept rising from there and will start the final table with the chip lead.
In a testament to her prowess in day 3, Iermolcheva burst that final table bubble that was refusing to pop.
Colin Lovelock was nearly eliminated before players went on break but found himself with a handful of chips left. When they came back, Lovelock had only 20,00 behind after posting the 12,000 small blind.
Francois Lincourt and Francisco Rocha called but Shakeeb Kazemipur raised to 95,000 from the cutoff.
Lincourt folded but Rocha called and the flop came T♦J♠Q♥. Both players checked, a 2♦ came on the turn and Kazemipur bet 55,000. Rocha called and an A♦ completed the board.
Both players checked again and Lovelock showed J♦6♦ for a flush and a triple up.
Lovelock was gearing up for a comeback, but then he ran into the deadly Iermolcheva.
Lovelock moved all-in from the button the following hand and Iermolcheva called from the big blind.
Iermolcheva turned over T♦T♥ while Lovelock showed A♣K♥. The board ran 7♦6♠8♠J♥3♠ and the final table was set.
Lovelock won $16,940 for finishing 9th while Iermolcheva extended her lead to 2.71 million.
The final table
Seat 1: Francois Lincourt - 890,000
Seat 2: Francisco Rocha - 592,000
Seat 3: Shakeeb Kazemipur - 1,508,000
Seat 4: Derek Ecenarro - 290,000
Seat 5: Pierce Mckeller - 741,000
Seat 6: Olga Iermolcheva - 2,710,000
Seat 7: Damian Salas - 488,000
Seat 8: Tullio Bertoli - 1,103,000
Iermolcheva spent most of her day at the feature table and kept chipping up. She quickly rose to second in chips but the leader was always a table away.
Then, with thirteen players left, Iermolcheva moved to Kazemipur's table. Together, the two had about 40 percent of the chips in play.
Soon after Iermolcheva was moved, she and Kazemipur got involved in a million chip pot. Ermolcheva took down the hand on the flop and the hand stayed on Kazemipur's mind for some time.
"I won't say what I had," Iermolcheva said. "I had a strong hand though, I'd never bluff in that spot."
Iermolcheva almost didn't make it in time to the tournament, having flown in directly from the EPT11 Grand Final. She got in just before late registration closed and battled with a short stack her first day here.
Now she's going into the final eight with the lead.
"I'll need some luck tomorrow," Iermolcheva said. "But I will play my game and hope things go well. I have a lot of chips, hopefully the rest of the chips will come to me."
Iermolcheva and the remaining players will come back tomorrow at noon UTC-5:00. Play will resume with 52 minutes left on level 24. Blinds will be 12,000/24,000 with a 4,000 ante and play won't stop until we have a champion.
Players are guaranteed $21,220 for making the final table and will be fighting for the $180,112 prize up top.
Join us tomorrow right here at the PokerStars Blog to find out who our newest LAPT champion will be.
For multilingual coverage, check out our Spanish PokerStars Blog and our Brazilian PokerStars Blog. If you're more of a watcher, head over to LAPT Live to check out the live stream. Updates are also available on the LAPT Facebook page.
All photos are snapped by Carlos Monti and all words are clacked by Alexander Villegas.